Easy Cheesy Pasta Sauce
- Make this velvety cheesy pasta sauce without flour or white wineor any complicated steps!
- Its ready to serve in just 20 minutes!
- A definite go-to sauce for any kind of pasta, but also a light sauce for proteins like chicken, pork, salmon, shrimp, or crab.
- Serve this multi-purpose cheesy pasta sauce as a dip for veggies, crackers, or breadsticks!
- Serving over pasta? Check out this guide on how to get perfect pasta every time!
Lets Take A Look At The Ingredients:
dry penne pasta you can actually make this with just about any type of pasta, including spaghetti. However, when it comes to pressure cooking pasta, Instant Pot penne pasta consistently turns out perfectly cooked. Plus, the shape and texture holds onto the alfredo-y cream cheese sauce like a dream.
cream cheese I always toss a couple of bricks of cream cheese into my grocery cart specifically so I can make this pasta. Whether its Philadelphia cream cheese or ALDI brand , the sauce is always creamy and satisfying.
shredded Parmesan cheese you can shred your own, but I just pick up the small tubs of already shredded Parmesan. A little goes a long way, and they last forever in the fridge. Incidentally, theyre also a high-quality yet thrifty buy at ALDI
butter real butter, please! You can substitute olive oil in a pinch, but the silky texture and flavor that butter provides cant be matched. I use salted butter in pretty much all of my cooking , but you can totally use unsalted, as well.
garlic powder I wavered between using garlic powder and minced garlic cloves, but I ultimately went with the powder for shelf life. Too often I find my garlic cloves are either shriveled or sprouting when I go to use them. If you want stronger/fresher garlic flavor, substitute either 2 cloves minced or a teaspoon of jarred minced garlic.
Thats it just 5 ingredients But did you notice whats NOT on the ingredients list? Thats right, theres NO milk!
How To Make Chicken Philly Pesto Pasta
Measure out and prepare the ingredients dice the chicken and grate the cheese. I always find that spending a couple of minutes measuring everything out saves so much time later. It makes it far less likely that Ill leave out a vital ingredient. Also, I find it so easy to cook far too much pasta. Measuring out portions solves this problem completely! Step one Boil a large pan of water, add a good pinch of salt, and start cooking the pasta according to the packet instructions.
Fuss-free tip I always use a kettle of boiling water for the pasta pan, as the kettle heats the water faster than a saucepan. Do a comparison test and youll know for certain which is quicker in your kitchen.
Step two Heat a small frying pan and add the olive oil and the diced chicken breast. Cook the chicken for 5 minutes, turning the pieces frequently so that they dont burn. If the chicken isnt colouring, add a teaspoon of butter to the frying pan to help it along.
Step three When the chicken is cooked through and has some colour, add the Philadelphia cream cheese and pesto one heaped tablespoon of each. Stir together with the chicken.
Scoop out an espresso cup of the pasta water . Stir the pasta water into the chicken mixture, together with half the grated cheese to make a sauce. Adding pasta water to sauces gives a deliciously smooth, velvety texture that evenly coats the pasta, without adding loads of extra butter or oil!
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Pasta With Philadelphia Cream Cheese
I found a similar recipe in our local newspaper, but it did not have the taste and flavor that I feel did it justice. So, I made numerous additions and came up with this tasty, delicious recipe.
Provided by William Uncle Bill
|1 cup small penne pasta|
|1 cup tri-color spiral pasta|
|2 tablespoons vegetable oil|
|1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil|
|1 tablespoon butter|
|1/2 cup chopped small onion|
|2 large garlic cloves, chopped small|
|1 cup chopped chopped button mushroom|
|1/2 cup finely chopped sweet red pepper|
|1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper|
|2 tablespoons pesto sauce|
|1/3 cup Philadelphia Cream Cheese|
|1 teaspoon dried basil or 2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh basil|
|1/2 teaspoon salt|
|1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes|
Nutrition Facts : Calories 378.7, Fat 20.8, SaturatedFat 7.6, Cholesterol 28.9, Sodium 2117.2, Carbohydrate 42.4, Fiber 4.8, Sugar 2.8, Protein 7.4
How To Use Starchy Pasta Water In Cream Cheese Pasta
Two really important factors to consider. First is you want the pasta water to be properly seasoned with salt. This ensures it doesnt dilute the flavour of the sauce. Second, youll want to scoop the pasta water out JUST before draining. This will ensure the water is nice and starchy, which in turn is what ensures the sauce goes nice and creamy.
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Cream Cheese Pesto Pasta
Cream Cheese Pesto Pasta you need only 3 ingredients and 5 minutes to prepare this gorgeous creamy pasta dish!
The other day I needed to make a quick and easy lunch without much fuss. I had some pesto and cream cheese in the fridge so I thought of mixing them together to make milder pesto sauce. Bingo! It was sooo good that it deserved to end up on my blog.
First time I used spaghetti because it was the only type of pasta I had in my pantry, but today I thought tortellini would make an even more substantial meal.
The measurements for the ingredients are more of a guide than a strict rule you can add more or less of any ingredient, to your liking.
Cream Cheese Pesto Pasta is definitely a keeper for those days when we dont have time or energy to cook, but we still want to eat warm and home-cooked meal!
- 250g dry tortellini or other pasta
- 6Tbspcream cheese
How To Make Cream Cheese Pasta Step By Step
Gather all your ingredients. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Fill and boil the kettle so you have hot water to cook the pasta in.
Step One Melt the butter in the oil in a large pan over a low heat, and sauté the garlic until it is fragrant. Add the cream cheese and stir until it is melted.
While you are doing this, fill a large pan with the freshly boiled water, add a teaspoon of salt, bring back to a rolling boil and start to cook the pasta.
Step Two Once the pasta is nearly cooked, scoop out a cup of the pasta water.
Step Three Add about a third of a cup of the pasta water to the cream cheese sauce. Then bring to a simmer, stirring all the time, to make a thick coating sauce.
Step Four Drain the pasta, give it a good shake and fold into the creamy cheese mixture, with half the grated parmesan, and a generous seasoning of freshly ground black pepper and salt. Give it a all a good toss to mix. Check the consistency of the sauce and add some more pasta water to loosen it if necessary.
As the pasta cools, the sauce will thicken make it slightly runnier than you think it needs to be.
Step Five Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan, serve and eat immediately. A simple green salad dressed with pesto dressing would be perfect with this.
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What You Will Need
- Spaghetti – We used quick cook spaghetti to keep the recipe to just 10 minutes. However, you could use any pasta you like. We love spaghetti because the sauce really clings to it.
- Cream cheese – The star of the dish! You want to use the best quality cream cheese you can as you will be able to taste the difference. A better quality one will be creamier, but if you wanted to keep it less expensive, than a supermarket brand one will be fine. You can use full fat or reduced fat, but the full fat one will have more flavour.
- Parmesan – You can never have too much cheese, right? This makes it extra cheese and it has such a strong flavour too, so a little goes a long way.
- Butter – An ingredient you probably always have in your fridge. We cook some garlic in butter to start off the sauce, and it adds some extra flavour to help cut through all the cheesiness.
- Garlic – Optional, but totally recommended. Freshly crushed is always best, but you can use ready crushed garlic from a jar if you prefer.
- Salt & Pepper – Season to taste.
- Pasta water – This is our “secret” ingredient in every pasta dish and something that every Italian uses in their cooking. Adding a little bit of the starchy pasta water makes the sauce really silky smooth and cling to the pasta. It also loosens the sauce up a little, helping it go further.
Ingredients You Will Need
** This post contains tips and instructions to achieve the best possible results. The photo above is a great guide for when you are in the supermarket, but for full ingredient quantities and methods, please scroll down to the detailed recipe card below!
- Cream cheese.I use Philadelphia cream cheese, but any type of block cream cheese will work. Feel free to use full fat or low-fat depending on your preference. Both will work! Just make sure its a block of cream cheese, not the spreadable kind.
- Parmesan cheese. Buy a block of fresh parmesan cheese and grate it yourself. It will melt into the tomato sauce much better than pre-shredded cheese.
- Canned tomatoes. Use regular, crushed or diced canned tomatoes with no added flavours.
- Pasta. Any type of pasta works with this recipe. I prefer spaghetti or fettuccine so the long strands grab hold of the creamy sauce. But you can also use shells, spirals or anything you have in your pantry. Use gluten-free pasta if needed, or even red lentil pasta, wholemeal or chickpea pasta.
- Cherry tomatoes are added to the sauce at the end to add sweetness, flavour and nutrients. They can also be roasted ahead of time and added to the sauce.
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What Is The Best Cheese To Use For Pasta
That depends on the texture and flavor youre trying to achieve.
- If you want to add a salty and creamy flavor, try parmesan, like in this Chicken Mushroom Pasta recipe.
- For a light flavor, try using ricotta, like in this Lemon Ricotta Pasta recipe.
- If you want the melted cheesy texture, try using freshly grated pizza mozzarella, like in this Creamy Rose Tomato Sauce Pasta recipe.
- Finally, if youre trying to make a sauce creamy without using cream, then cream cheese is the best option.
Cream Cheese With Pasta Recipe
Pasta with cream cheese is the pasta dish you make when time is of the essence and you want something simple yet comforting on a busy weeknight.
I call this recipe ‘fast pace recipe’ because all you have to do is boil the pasta until al dente then toss it in the creamy cheese sauce. season to taste with salt and pepper and you are done. However, you have to work really fast!
This Philly pasta recipe is similar to my canned tuna pasta and pink sauce pasta, a cheap meal that doesn’t taste cheap. It honestly does taste like something you order in a restaurant. Think of it as alfredo sauce but only better. I like to serve it with air fryer chicken breast or baked cod with tomatoes.
So if you are short on time and don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen this creamy pasta recipe is for you. It is a great way to use up leftover cream cheese. I love how it’s so easy to make and that you can easily customize the flavors!
It can be made gluten-free all you need to do is substitute with gluten-free pasta. Also, you don’t have to use Philadelphia cheese for this recipe, any brand of soft cheese would work just fine.
Related recipe: Boursin pasta! creamy, comforting, and delicious.
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Starchy Pasta Water The Secret Ingredient
It isnt that much of an exaggeration to call this the liquid gold of Italian cooking. Once the pasta is nearly cooked, scoop out a ladle or cup of the rich starchy water.
It is perfect for stretching out the sauce and it adds a luxurious richness and silky smooth texture. If your sauce seems a bit flat, or you need it to go further, the pasta water will work wonders, without adding the heaviness and calories that extra oil or butter does.
The starch in the water creates an emulsion with the fat or oil in the pasta sauce, so for best results take the water out of the pan at the end of the pasta cooking time.
When draining your pasta shake the sieve or colander over the cooking pan to reserve a few last spoons of the rich pasta water. I nearly always add these to the sauce.
What To Serve It With
Everyone know that garlic bread and pasta are a match made in heaven. Carby heaven! Either buy some ready made, or make your own easy garlic bread by cutting up some French stick and spreading it with a mix of butter, crushed garlic and dried herbs. Then pop it in the oven for 10 minutes.
You could also keep it simple with a big green salad. The key to an epic green salad is to use a variety of greens, like romaine, spinach, kale and rocket. You want leafy greens, but crunch too. Then you need the perfect dressing. Why not try our Lemon Vinaigrette, Honey and Mustard Dressing or Tomato and Basil Vinaigrette. You could also try our Grilled Little Gem Salad.
If you want to add a big side of vegetables, then we recommend our Roasted Tenderstem Broccoli, Garlic Green Beans, Air Fryer Carrots, or Roasted Lemon Asparagus.
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Can You Melt Philadelphia Cream Cheese
Yes, it is definitely OK to cook or melt cream cheese. When youre thinking about cooked cream cheese recipe, the most popular one that springs to mind is cheesecake, but theres so many other ways you can use heated cream cheese. My favorite way to use it is in easy creamy pasta sauces, like this one.
Can Pasta Be Cooked In Sauce
While you can cook pasta in a sauce, it really is best to cook the two elements separately. The time needed for perfectly cooked spaghetti doesn’t always coincide with the sauce. By cooking the pasta on its own, you can pull it as soon as it’s al dente and have it drained and ready to add to the sauce when it’s needed.
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How To Store Leftoveryour Philly Pasta
I think this spaghetti dish is best eaten right away, however, if you have leftovers, make sure it cools completely before storing it away in the fridge. Also, it is important not to let the leftover sit out longer than necessary.
You can store it in the fridge, in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. No, this recipe does not freeze well so I wouldn’t recommend it.
To reheat: You can reheat in a skillet on the stove over medium-low heat or in a microwave. If the pasta seems dry add some water to wake the cream cheese up when reheating.
Cream Cheese Alfredo Sauce
This is my spin on Alfredo sauce. We love cream cheese, mushrooms and garlic. So I decided to try different ways of creating this tasty dish! Serve with fettuccini, and sliced crusty bread for mopping!
Provided by Mommy bakes
|2 portobello mushroom caps, thinly sliced|
|1 package cream cheese|
|½ cup butter|
|6 ounces grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste|
|1 clove garlic, crushed|
|1 tablespoon minced fresh basil leaves|
|ground white pepper, to taste|
- Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the mushrooms cook and stir until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, melt the cream cheese and 1/2 cup of butter in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in the milk and Parmesan cheese, mixing until smooth. Add in the garlic, basil, and white pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes, then remove the garlic. Stir in the cooked mushrooms before serving.
Nutrition Facts : Calories 463.6 calories, Carbohydrate 7.2 g, Cholesterol 121.7 mg, Fat 41.6 g, Fiber 0.6 g, Protein 16.9 g, SaturatedFat 26 g, Sodium 707.6 mg, Sugar 3.9 g
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Why Make Pasta With Cream Cheese
- It is seriously easy, using just a few everyday ingredients.
- Creamy cheesy pasta is FAST ready in the time it takes the spaghetti to cook.
- My classic Italian pasta sauce trick delivers restaurant quality.
- It is adaptable easy enough for a simple family supper but also smart enough for date night.
- Satisfies all your carb cravings but lighter than a cream based sauce.
- It is frugal nothing fancy and expensive here, unless you want to buy artisan pasta!